Never knowingly undersolved.

Financial Times 13827 Gurney

Posted by scchua on October 18th, 2011


This continues the series of Gurney puzzles that I have found enjoyable, not too tough.  All nicely clued, with some clever surfaces.  Thanks Gurney.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  Hidden connection in one of the picture sets.


1 Experience of Neil Armstrong maybe seconds after ordering English sweets? (14)

WEIGHTLESSNESS :  S(seconds, as in H:M:S) placed after(after) anagram of(ordering) ENGLISH SWEETS

Answer:  Sensation experienced by the first man on the moon on his journey between here and there.

10 Stratagem contains nothing to provoke (5)

ROUSE :  RUSE(stratagem,ploy) containing(contains) O(=o=zero=nothing)

11 Share out pain, or opt for change? (9)

APPORTIONAnagram of(for change) PAIN OR OPT

12 Boat journey cut short by Republican near eastern Maine (7)

TRIREME :  TRI(“trip”,journey without its last letter,cut short) plus(by) R(Republican) plus(near) E(eastern) ME(abbrev. for US state of Maine used in postal codes)

Answer:  From Latin, the name for a boat developed by the ancient Greeks with 3 tiers of oars on each side, used as a warship.

13 After change of leader, struggle to provide framework (7)

TRESTLE :  “Wrestle”(struggle) with initial letter,leader replaced by(after change of..) “t”

14 Conservative wing, say, showing the way up (5)

CLIMB :  C(Conservative) LIMB(an example of which,say, after adaptation and evolution, is the wing)

Answer:  The noun for “the way up

16 Agent’s business bust, great anger follows (9)

BROKERAGE :  RAGE(great anger, as in “Raging Bull”) placed after(follows) BROKE(bust,kaput in the past tense)

Answer:  The activity performed, and the fee earned, by an agent in brokering deals between parties.

19 Potentially nice pet brought to Delaware? Hardly! (9)

CENTIPEDEAnagram of(potentially) NICE PET plus(brought to) DE(abbrev. for the US state of Delaware used in postal codes)

Answer:  One that would hardly make a nice pet!  Nice intertwining of definition and wordplay.

20 Beginning to strum instrument exactly on time (5)

SHARP :  S(initial letter of,beginning tostrum”) HARP(stringed instrument)

Answer:  If an invitation says that an event will start at Xpm sharp, it means it will start exactly on time at Xpm – at least, that is the intention.

22 Force with role building defensive wall (7)

RAMPART :  RAM(verb, to hit with force) plus(with) PART(a role, eg. in a play)

25 Time in legislature when giving up rights is discussed? (7)

SESSIONHomophone of(is discussed) “cession”,a giving up,ceding of one’s rights, eg. a state or territory’s rights to another state

27 Adapt No. Ten for a PM? (9)

AFTERNOONAnagram of(adapt) NO. TEN FOR A

Answer:  The time of the day post meridian, after 12 noon.  Nice surface, alluding to the British PM’s official address.


28 In Cuba they spend time in the water (5)

BATHEHidden in(in) cuBA THEy

Answer:  I wonder if there is an allusion here to Cuban refugees leaving in boats.

29 Handshakes not universal at this gathering? (14)

TELECONFERENCE :  Cryptic defn:  A portmanteau word signifying a sort of discussion,meeting,gathering of (groups of) people, using their telephones simultaneously, aka “a conference call”.  And when video is added, it’s a videoconference.  Physical handshakes all round,universal, are not possible in such a meeting.


2 Great knowledge of rugby union shown in publication (9)

ERUDITION :  RU(rugby union) contained in(shown in) EDITION(a publication, eg. of a book as in “first edition”, or newspaper as in “evening edition”)

3 Diving bird, heading north, sheltered by icebergs (5)

GREBEReversal of(heading north, in a down clue) and hidden in(sheltered by) icEBERGs

4 Set of figures covering sporting contest can be found (9)

TRACEABLE :  TABLE(set of figures laid out in rows and columns) containing(covering) RACE(a sporting contest to see who is fastest)

5 Former partner conveniently living abroad (5)

EXPAT :  EX(former partner, eg. spouse to whom you might have to pay maintenance) PAT(conveniently,in the sense of fitting too exactly or glib, as in a “pat answer to an awkward question”).  Nice surface – if you’re not on good terms with your ex.

6 Recklessly cross seer, one who has magic powers (9)

SORCERESSAnagram of(recklessly) CROSS SEER

7 Be there when prejudiced guy blows his top (5)

EXIST :  “Sexist”,the guy – any reason why it can’t be a gal as well? – with prejudices based on sex – the gender, not the activity – minus,blows  its initial letter,his top

8 In Wisconsin, ceremonial is genuine (7)

SINCEREHidden in(in) wisconSIN CEREmonial

9 I might rebuke councillor in charge of installing computers, say (6)

CRITIC :  CR(abbrev. for councillor) IC(abbrev. for “in charge”) containing(installing) IT(abbrev. for information technology, an example of which,say are computers)

15 Items of little value I found in British taxi another vehicle upended (4-1-4)

BRIC-A-BRACI contained in(found in) BR(British) CAB(taxi) plus reversal of(upended) CAR(another vehicle)

17 Once Basie’s playing is included, there will be great respect (9)

OBEISANCEAnagram of(playing) BASIE – anagrind and fodder refering to Count Basie and his orchestra – contained in(is included) ONCE

Answer:  Some overlap with the definition, but one can also have obeisance without great (or any) respect, and great respect without obeisance.


18 After male left, Mavis is in upper room looking back to earlier days (9)

ATAVISTIC :  AVIS(“Mavis” without letter “m”,after “m”,male left) contained in(is in) ATTIC(upper room, below the roof of the house)

Answer:  Reverting,looking back to an ancestral type or character from earlier days.  In biological terms, it’s when a characteristic or trait that appeared in ancestors, but not in intervening generations, reappears.  So what was Mavis and her male doing in the upper room?  The imagination runs wild.

19 Fruit in general use, we hear (7)

CURRANTHomophone of(we hear) CURRENT(in general,customary,prevalent use, as in “the current practice…”)

21 Written while under house arrest? (6)

PENNED :  Double defn.  2nd: While you’re under such a legal (or political) order, your house becomes your confines, and you’re also incommunicado – no radio, TV, Internet?

23 Solid food including last of roast (5)

METAL :  MEAL(food that is served and eaten, or coarse ground powder from grain seeds) containing(including) T(last letter ofroast“)

Answer:  There are various senses of “metal” that can fit “solid”.  Most elementary metals at ambient temperature are solid (except 1 surely, and 4 marginally).  Metal is an alternative to “mettle”, that which makes you steady and solid.  It also refers to the stuff that solid things are made of, including what’s on the roads.

24 Something 20 seen in heath or nearby (5)

THORNHidden in(seen in) heaTH OR Nearby

Answer:  Reference to the solution for 20A SHARP

26 Weapon regularly scabbarded? (5)

SABRE :  Alternate letters,regularly of ScAbBaRdEd


3 Responses to “Financial Times 13827 Gurney”

  1. Paul B says:

    Gurney as in Halleck, or trolley as in stretcher – one who stretches (us)?

    I think we should told, especially after such a nice set of clues (27 in particular for me).

  2. verbose says:

    Re: the hidden connection in one of the picture sets, I recognize the picture of Al Pacino from Dog Day Afternoon, but please do elucidate the rest. Thanks scchua!

  3. scchua says:

    Hi verbose, here are the other links:

    The Starland Vocal Band, an American band, who were essentially a one-hit wonder with “Afternoon Delight” in 1976 –

    Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn in the film “Love in the Afternoon”, directed by Billy Wilder.

    Bernard Verley and Zouzou in the film “L’amour l’après-midi” (same translation to English as above, but different plot) directed by Eric Rohmer.

    Karen Carpenter (half of The Carpenters) who had a track “Making Love in the Afternoon” in her first solo album.

    Jerry Garcia (of The Grateful Dead) who sang “Love in the Afternoon” with his own band.

    Ernest Hemingway who wrote “Death in the Afternoon”.

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